Porter Heart & Vascular Institute

Porter Adventist Hospital

2525 S Downing St
Ste 140
Denver, Colorado 80210

39.6700386, -104.9748195

Latitude: 39.6700386, Longitude: -104.9748195

Porter Heart & Vascular Institute

Porter Adventist Hospital

About Endovascular Procedures

Porter Heart and Vascular Institute is one of the few programs in the region specializing in advanced vascular, hybrid approach and endovascular surgeries. Used to treat blood vessel conditions, the medical team at Porter's Heart and Vascular Institute has a dedicated focus on a full range of minimally invasive endovascular, vascular and hybrid procedures.

By using Porter Hosptial's endovascular hybrid-operating suite, physicians across multiple specialties are able to work together simultaneously to treat patients in a unique, customized and highly beneficial manner. Porter Hospital's hybrid operating capability also allows our team to quickly transition from minimally invasive procedures to a more open and traditional approach when needed, providing patients better outcomes and faster recovery times.

  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair

    The skilled vascular surgeons at Porter Adventist Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Institute in Denver can repair abdominal aortic aneurysms, a widened area in the aorta, the large artery that carries blood to the abdomen, pelvis and legs. The vascular surgeons at Porter might recommend an endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair for three main reasons:

    1. If the aneurysm is larger than 2 inches or 5 to 6 centimeters
    2. If the aneurysm is growing quickly
    3. If the aneurysm is leaking or bleeding. Further, if there is a risk the aneurysm will rupture, or burst, Porter’s vascular surgeons will highly suggest repairing an abdominal aortic aneurysm

    The endovascular surgical treatment approach to repairing an aortic aneurysm is much less invasive than traditional, open surgery. As a minimally invasive procedure, endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair promises little pain, healing scarring and down time. Also called endovascular stenting, endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair is performed without cutting the abdomen, and includes the surgeon doing the following:

    • Make a small cut near the groin
    • Locate the femoral artery
    • Insert a stent (tiny metal or plastic tube) and graft into the body through the artery
    • Guide the stent and graft to the aneurysm in the aorta
    • Hold open the artery with the stent
    • Attach the graft, which the aneurysm will shrink around
    • Ensure the stent is in the right place and the aneurysm is not bleeding inside the body
  • Aneurysm Repair

    The elite cardiac team at Porter Adventist Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Institute have mastered a variety of techniques to repair aneurysms, a bulge or expansion in the wall of an artery. Though most aneurysms form in the aorta, they can develop in arteries in the brain, heart and other parts of the body.

    Porter’s vascular surgeons recommend aneurysm repair for three main reasons:

    1. If the aneurysm is larger than 2 inches or 5 to 6 centimeters
    2. If the aneurysm is growing quickly
    3. If there is a risk of the aneurysm rupturing or bursting. If an aneurysm bursts, it can be fatal; aneurysm that rupture in the brain cause a stroke

    The surgical treatment approach to repair an aneurysm is dependent upon where the bulge is located—the aorta, brain, heart or somewhere else. Though a minimally invasive procedure is often preferred, certain factors might dictate a more traditional, or open chest / open abdominal, surgery. Endovascular grafting for aneurysms is also an option.

    Whichever aneurysm repair surgery is recommended, it is important to keep in mind that these types of vascular surgeries have been performed by the cardiac team at Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver for years, yielding optimal recovery. 

    Traditional Open Abdominal or Open Chest Repair for Aneurysms

    Typically the most common type of aneurysm repair surgery, the skilled heart and vascular surgery team at Porter Adventist Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Institute will perform the traditional open abdominal or open chest repair by the following:

    Endovascular Grafting for Aneurysm Repair

    During an endovascular aneurysm repair, the vascular surgeons at Porter Adventist Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Institute don’t remove the aneurysm, yet use a grafting technique. This less invasive approach is performed without cutting the chest, and includes the following:

    • Make an incision in the middle of the chest bone (or abdomen)
    • Pull the two sides of the chest bone apart (or abdomen)
    • Remove the aneurysm
    • Replace the damaged section of artery with a fabric or plastic graft
    • Use the assistance of a heart-lung machine 
    • Make a small cut near the groin
    • Locate the femoral artery
    • Insert a stent (tiny metal or plastic tube) and graft into the body through the artery
    • Guide the stent and graft to the aneurysm
    • Hold open the artery with the stent
    • Attach the graft, which the aneurysm will shrink around
    • Ensure the stent is in the right place and the aneurysm is not bleeding inside the body
  • Atherosclerosis Atherectomy & Endarterectomy

    The advanced cardiologist and cardiovascular surgeons at Porter Adventist Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Institute in Denver are highly skilled at treating atherosclerosis, a disease where plaque builds up inside the arteries. Depending on which arteries are affected, atherosclerosis is related to several diseases, including aortic arch conditions, aorto-iliac occlusive disease, visceral artery disease, heart disease, carotid artery disease, peripheral arterial disease and chronic kidney disease; and can lead to heart attack, stroke and death. Porter’s doctors will remove the plaque, which is causing the hardening or narrowing of the arteries, by innovative techniques, such as atherectomy or endarterectomy. 

    Atherectomy to Remove Plaque Buildup on Arteries

    An alternative to angioplasty, atherectomy is a minimally invasive technique to remove plaque buildup in arteries by shaving or cutting it away with a sharp medical instrument like a knife or laser. During the atherectomy procedure, the heart surgeons will perform the following:

    • Insert a catheter with a cutting device (knife or laser*) into the affected artery
    • Thread the catheter and knife or laser* toward the blocked artery
    • Cut or shave off the excess plaque
    • Remove the small pieces of plaque through the catheter
    • Allow the pieces of plaque to be carried away by bloodstream (if small enough)

    *Atherectomy performed with a laser enables the plaque blockages to be dissolved within the body. 

    Endarterectomy to Remove Plaque Buildup on Arteries

    Used more as a general tern to surgically remove plaque buildup in arteries, an endarterectomy procedure is performed by the vascular surgeons at Porter Heart and Vascular Institute in Denver by the following steps:

    • Make an incision in the skin over the site of the blockage
    • Locate all the blockages in the artery
    • Insert a shunt (tube) above and below the blockage
    • Temporarily reroute the blood flow
    • Stop the blood with clamps for a short period (instead of inserting the shunt)
    • Remove the plaque or blood clot from the inner layer of your artery with special tool
    • Widen the artery with a graft of man-made material or a section of vein
    • Remove the shunt or clamps
    • Restore the blood flow
    • Close the incisions*

    *A thin, flexible tube, called a drain, might temporarily be left in the incision to drain any excess fluid.

  • Carotid Endarterectomy (CEA)

    Patients who are at risk of stroke due to plaque buildup or carotid artery disease (CAD) might benefit from carotid endarterectomy (CEA) performed by the renowned vascular surgeons at Porter Adventist Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Institute. Even those who are already on anti-clotting medications might opt for this innovative surgery, since the surgeon’s skill makes it feel routine.

    The CEA procedure is relatively simple, yet greatly reduces the risk of stroke while opening up the narrowed or blocked carotid arteries, by the following:

    • Make a small incision in the neck
    • Remove plaque buildup form carotid artery
    • Restore normal blood flow throw artery
    • Lower the risk of stroke
    • Eliminate transient ischemic attack (TIA) "mini-stroke” symptoms

    Carotid Angioplasty and Stenting

    Another treatment commonly used to treat carotid artery disease is carotid angioplasty, which involves the following:

    • Thread a small tube with a balloon on the end to the narrowed or blocked carotid artery
    • Inflate the balloon to push the plaque outward against the wall of the artery
    • Place a small metal stent (tube) in the artery
    • Lower the risk of the artery becoming blocked again
  • Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filter Insertion

    Utilizing the endovascular hybrid-operating suite at Porter Adventist Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Institute, cardiac surgeons work with interventional radiologists to perform the innovative inferior vena cava (IVC) filter insertion procedure. Patients who are at risk of blood clots forming in the legs or pelvis, a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), might benefit from IVC. An IVC filter is inserted in the vena cava vein to prevent large blood clots or clot fragments from traveling toward the heart and lungs, which can be fatal.

    There are a number of reasons a person might be at risk of developing blood clots, such as immobility, recent surgery, recent bone fracture, having a recent trauma, child birth, hormone therapy, heart failure and inflammatory disorders. At times, blood thinners are enough to stop the blood clots from forming, but with advancements in IVC filter insertion and removal, the minimally invasive procedure is preferred.

    Once Porter’s multidisciplinary team decides that IVC filter insertion is the best route to keep blood clots from entering the vena cava vein, the vascular surgeon or interventional radiologist will do the following: 

    • Thread a small catheter (tube) through a large vein in neck or groin
    • Navigate the catheter toward the vena cava vein in the abdomen
    • Place the filter through the catheter toward the desired location in the vena cava
    • Position the filter in the proper location
    • Expand the filter to attach to the walls of blood vessels
    • Remove catheter
  • Transluminal Balloon & Stent Angioplasty

    The vascular surgeons at Porter Adventist Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Institute can open blocked or narrowed blood vessels that supply blood to the legs with transluminal balloon and stent angioplasty. Widening the blocked arteries can be approached via several avenues, including the aorta or other arteries in the hip, pelvis, thigh, lower leg and even behind the knee. Once Porter’s skilled vascular team decides the best way to reach the blocked artery, they will use a technique called angioplasty, which includes the following:

    • Thread a small tube, or stent, with a balloon on the end toward the narrowed or blocked artery
    • Inflate the balloon to push the plaque outward against the wall of the artery
    • Place a small metal stent (tube) in the artery to keep plaque away
    • Lower the risk of the artery becoming blocked again
  • Varicose Veins Surgery

    Utilizing the endovascular hybrid-operating suite at Porter Adventist Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Institute, vascular surgeons work with vascular specialists to perform some of the most revolutionary varicose vein treatments in the Denver area. For patients who have already tried lifestyle changes to treat varicose veins, surgical procedures to remove or close the veins will be recommended to relieve pain, aching and heaviness-feeling symptoms, prevent complications of blood clots and improve appearance of skin and veins. 

    Endovenous Ablation Therapy

    Endovenous ablation therapy uses lasers or radiowaves to treat small varicose veins with heat. The revolutionary ablation therapy to treat varicose veins involves the following:

    • Make a tiny cut in skin near the varicose vein
    • Insert a small tube called a catheter into the vein
    • Use lasers or radiowaves to create heat into the veins
    • Repeat treatment every 4 to 6 weeks (if necessary)
    • Heat from lasers or radiowaves close off the varicose veins